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I'm using a CraftBot original to print PLA, but some of the filament has become stuck in the teeth of the extruder gear on its way into the hot end. I'm having issues with the gear becoming stuck and "clicking" instead of turning, and I suspect it is because of the clogged teeth. I haven't changed materials in a long time. I've cleared several print head clogs, but each time the gear gets back around to the one spot, it seems to get stuck again.

Are there any good ways to clean this gear? I was thinking of putting it in a toaster oven and trying to melt the PLA off it, ideally without setting my house on fire in the process. Anyone have better ideas?

1 Answer 1

If you are able to remove the gear, as I suspect you can, a useful tool is the file card. It resembles a flat hair brush but the bristles are short wire, very stiff. In traditional use, it removes metal shavings from conventional metal files. It will easily remove plastic from between the gear teeth. If you are unable to remove the gear, but can access a portion of the exposed teeth, a suitably named dental pick can remove slowly the clogged material.

Cooking the gear may not cause a fire, but could carbonize the plastic onto the teeth, perhaps creating a greater problem.